Day 48, Being Safe & Pregnant

The word Caution takes on a whole different meaning when you find out you are pregnant. Everything that you do, every step that you take, your mind immediately asks the question – Is it Safe ? And this can lead to a lot of anxiety as you do not want to harm your baby in any way. Let’s talk about some ways and means to ensure that you and your baby are safe in this super special time.

– Traveling : We cannot sit at home all the time. We do have to travel. Maybe to work, to the market, for an outing or even for a holiday. Choose a mode of transport that is not very jarring. Which means that avoid two and three wheelers during pregnancy as far as possible. For road transport use cars and buses, Trains are safe as well and of course you can take a flight too. Most airlines will ask you to carry a Fit to Fly letter from your doctor if you have crossed week 28 of your pregnancy. When on the flight make sure you drink plenty of fluids, move around frequently, perform stretching exercises on your seat and carry some home cooked snacks so that you do not have to rely completely on airline food.

– Exercise : It is important to exercise if all is well with your pregnancy. Seek permission from your doctor before you start any exercise routine. Ensure that you are supervised by a qualified trainer. Walking is the safest exercise during pregnancy but make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes and keep yourself well hydrated. Always listen to your body and stop at the first sign of discomfort.

– Beauty Treatments : Most beauty treatments are safe during pregnancy. However as a caution you may want to visit your favorite salon for a make over once you have completed the first trimester and your baby is now past the critical period of development. Bleach, hair color, waxing all can be undertaken safely during pregnancy.

– Spa Treatments : Now here is a word of caution. As a pregnant mom you have many aches and pains and you long for a massage or a hot tub. Be cautious. Make sure your therapist is qualified for pregnancy massage as there are certain pressure points which can induce pre term contractions. Hot tubs and saunas are also contraindicated since they raise your body temperature and hence also raise the temperature of the womb. This is not safe for the developing fetus.

– Home renovations : Every parent plans to redo at least a section of the home in preparation for the new baby. Most of the work that is done is safe for the mom to supervise. But at the time of the paint being scraped and the walls being sanded to prepare them for the fresh coat of paint, it is best that the pregnant mom is away from the house. The paint which is being scraped will contain lead and this will be present in the air for a while. Lead is poisonous and especially harmful for a developing fetus.

– Alcohol, Cigarettes and Drugs : There really is no safe permissible limit for alcohol intake. Any alcohol that you intake passes into your blood almost immediately and this passes to the baby. Cigarette smoke can lead to low birth weight babies, premature births and even still birth. Even second hand smoke is harmful. So if you smoke this is a good time to quit and if your partner or a member of the family smokes then they should either quit or not do so around the mother. A pregnant mom should surely stay away from illicit drugs as these can lead to development issues in the fetus.

– Food : Most food items are safe for a pregnant mom to consume. However there is a short list which must be avoided – Uncooked eggs which can appear in various desserts, Soft cheeses, Unpasteurized Milk or Milk products, Sea food with shells, Raw fish, Tuna, Mackerel, Sword Fish, Shark Fish, Processed meat and excessive amounts of caffeine. Caffeine can sneak into not only tea and coffee but aerated drinks as well.

A little caution and a little care can make your pregnancy journey a Safe and Happy time.

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